Common Works Registration Tools

CWR Tools is a growing collection of free tools related to Common Works Registration process, the worldwide standard process of registration of musical works.

They are based on our proprietary software library, which is one of the foundations of the various advanced services we provide to the music industry, primarily music publishers.

Creating CWR


Example of a minimal registration

John and Jane Doe have created The Work. The Publisher is representing John and not Jane. John collects 25% of perf. directly, other 25% and 50% for mech. and sync. rights are owned by The Publisher and administered worldwide by The Sender. No original publisher for Jane has been specified.

Minimal Common Works Registration

The normal process to create CWR, is to manually input the metadata for the musical works into an application and then export it as CWR. This tool does this on a micro level.

Minimal CWR is a basic formset for creating a minimal CWR registration - up to 3 authors, a single original publisher for all controlled authors, optional administrator, no sub-publishers, with fixed reasonable defaults for just about everything.

It is really just a proof of concept and a nice educational tool. The example CWR file depicted in the figure above is available for download and can be examined in our Visual CWR Validator.

Converting to CWR


Another approach is to convert existing data to CWR. As part of our services, we can convert data from many different formats into CWR or any other usual format in the industry. One of these tools, we have made publicly available.

EBR to CWR Converter

EBR to CWR converter does exactly what the name says, it converts Electronic Batch Registration files to Common Works Registration files.

EBR files only contain performing rights affiliation and shares, so that applies to CWR created with this tool as well. There is an experimental feature that calculates MR and PR shares as well.

We do provide a paid service where we create far more complete CWR files based on manually extended EBR files.

Validating CWR

We don’t just create CWR files, we also process them. Here are three tools we use for manual (human) validation of CWR files.

Online Visual CWR Validator


Visual CWR Validator is the only freely available online validator for CWR 2.1 files. It has a complete field- and record-level validation as well as most of the transaction-, group- and file-level checks.

CWR file is highlighted and there is detail information about each field when you hover over it.

Among these free tools, this one is by far most useful and most used. It points out issues with CWR files, but it is also a great tool for understanding CWR.

CWR Repair Tool

CWR Repair Tool is an extension of the visual validator.

It can fix some of the errors in CWR files. Some fixes are completely safe, such as adding missing blanks at the end of the row, adding a carriage return character before the line feed or changing the case to uppercase. But most of the changes are somewhat hazardous, as they presume the intentions of the generating software.

We actually use it regularly for fixing acknowledgement files and manually edited CWR files.

Processing Acknowledgements

ACK Overview


The first 10 and the last transaction are accepted with no issues. Two of the transactions have issues, due to missing original authors of the modified work, and another issue related to modified work being specified as the original.

Once the CWR file is sent to a society, it will send one or two acknowledgement files, depending on their internal processes. Acknowledgement files are also in CWR format, which is hardly a human-readable one, except by few CWR geeks. For the rest of humanity, we have provided a tool called ACK Overview Tool.

It rounds up pretty nicely our set of free tools. You can create CWR files from scratch with two of them, convert from EBR into CWR, send it to a society and use this tool to have a quick look at the results. Of course, these tools may help you in making your own CWR-capable software. Or, maybe, help you to realize that you want to use some of our services.